Ruth Andersson May ’40


Ruth Andersson May ’40

“At Scripps I was most interested in biology, botany, and art. The library had books with pictures of plants that made an impression on me. In my senior year, I also remember a course I took in crystallography. I am now a certified gemologist, and that would not have happened without my studies.”

Ruth Andersson May enrolled in 1936. Ruth has fond memories of her first painting class taught by Millard Sheets. After graduating in 1940 with a degree in natural history, Ruth attended the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts and much later, the Gemological Institute of America. Ruth’s artwork is inspired by her interest in botany. Her botanical paintings have previously been on exhibit at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and are on permanent exhibit at the Lady BirdJohnson Wildflower Center and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Ruth’s works are also regularly included in the North American Prairie Conference’s biannual exhibitions of indigenous plants. In the Spring of 2001 her work appeared in an exhibition in Japan called “Botanical Illustrations of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas”.

She is presently serving as Director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and as trustee of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. She also maintains 240 acres of native land in the heart of Dallas, called the Harry S. Moss Park. In addition to receiving many ribbons from the Garden Club of America for her floral arrangements, Ruth is the recipient of awards for her implementation of numerous story-telling and educational programs at the Harry S. Moss Park where children learn about native wildflowers. The Gemological Institute of America also gave her an award for educational information about gold and gemstone mining worldwide. In addition, Ruth has generously supported the activites of the Scripps College Press since 1982.